Wen Yiduo, a patriotic poet and scholar, is held in high esteem for his straightforwardness against Kuomintang’s autocratic rule. He was assassinated by the Kuomintang’s secret agent in 1946 at the age of 47 after eulogizing Li Gongpu (1900-1946), a patriotic scholar who was also murdered by the government at that time.
Born in 1899 in Xishui, Hubei Province, Wen was educated with Chinese classics. In 1912, he entered Tsinghua University and published numerous works on Tsinghua Weekly. During the May 4th Movement, Wen was elected a representative to the congress of Chinese students held in Shanghai. In the following April, he got his first vernacular essay-- A Traveler Student published when he was in his southern tour. In September, the same year, he wrote a new style poem--West Bank. In November 1921, he and Liang Shih-Chiu set up Tsinghua Literary Society. The next year, he went to United States to study fine arts and literature in the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1923, he got his first poetic collection—Red Candle published. The poems were a combination of anti-feudalism, patriotism and aestheticism.
After returning to China in 1925, he worked as professor of Nanjing University, Wuhan University, Shandong University, Tsinghua University and dean of Beijing Art School. In 1928, his second poetic collection Dead Water was published. In his second collection, his patriotism and disappointment was illustrated through lines. In the same year, he joined Crescent Society, and wrote poems and essays for the Crescent Monthly. Yet his membership survived a very short period as he held a dispute with others and quit it the next year. From the autumn of 1928, he turned to devote most of his time to the study of Chinese classical literature.
When the Anti-Japanese Aggression War broke out, Wen moved to Kunming, to teach in National Southwestern Associated University. In 1944, he became a democrat and joined the China Democratic League. After the war, he was elected a member of the League’s central executive committee and took apart in political gatherings and demonstrations more frequently. At a gathering to mourn Li Gongpu, he made a speech denouncing the Kuomintang government and was assassinated at that evening.